Ten Things You Should Know: Robert B. Lewis Stakes
By Kevin Martin, Hello Race Fans Contributing Editor
1) The Robert B. Lewis Stakes is a race restricted to 3-year-olds run at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The race is a Grade 2 run at 1 1/16th-miles over the dirt. This year’s edition is part of the Kentucky Derby qualifying system with points being awarded to the top four finishers.
2) Run for the first time in 1935, the race has varied in distance from 3-furlongs to 1 1/8-miles. It was originally for older horses and had one edition restricted to 2-year-olds in 1940. It has been run under its current condition for 3-year-olds since 1964.
3) Originally named the Santa Catalina, it became the Robert B. Lewis Stakes in 2007.
4) The race is named for the California businessman who owned six Eclipse winners, including near-Triple-Crown-winners Silver Charm and Charismatic in 1997 and 1999. Lewis died in 2006 at the age of 81.
5) When the race was open to older horses, Your Host won the 1951 edition in track record time. As a sire, Your Host produced five-time Horse of the Year, Kelso.
6) In 1961, the champion turf runner T.V. Lark won the Robert B. Lewis. He closed that year with a win in the prestigious Washington D.C. International in Maryland where he beat the mighty Kelso.
8) In 1986, Ferdinand won the race in his second race as a 3-year-old. Ferdinand would become the first winner of the Robert B. Lewis to go on to win the Kentucky Derby.
9) In 1998, Artax won the first graded edition of the Robert B. Lewis. The following year, Artax won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and the 1999 Eclipse Award for Champion Sprinter.
10) In 2012, I’ll Have Another won the race at odds of 43-1. He would go on to become the second winner of the Robert Lewis to win the Kentucky Derby. He was also the 2012 3-year-old Eclipse Champion Male.